Rio+20 Earth Summit: Leaked Draft Portends Another Failed Climate Summit

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The Guardian/UK

Rio+20 Earth Summit: Leaked Draft Portends Another Failed Climate Summit

UN's vision for one deal to save the Earth is in peril as countries bicker over phrasing of clauses and key terms in the draft text

by
John Vidal

Rio+20 Earth summit is just days away and yet there is no consensus over the definition of sustainable development goals. (Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images)

The latest draft text that 180 governments are expected to sign up to at the end of the Rio+20 Earth summit has been leaked to the Guardian. According to the UN, only about 20% of the wording has been agreed, so with just three days formal negotiating time before world leaders arrive in Brazil on 20 June, and with the most contentious language still in, there is unlikely to be a strong agreement.

Sha Zukang, the Chinese diplomat who is head of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and will chair the Rio+20 summit, accepts that crucial issues remain unresolved.

According to Third World network, the only non-governmental group to publish daily reports on the progress of the negotiations, developed countries are still firmly opposed to proposals by developing countries calling for the provision of "new and additional financial resources". This has created serious tensions and frustrations with Pakistan, speaking for the G77 and China, saying there was no point in discussing further and no scope for further work and that it was better to "eliminate the entire finance chapter itself", given the response of developed countries.

"As things currently stand, we are facing two likely scenarios – an agreement so weak it is meaningless, or complete collapse." --Jim Leape, WFF director general

WWF director general, Jim Leape is deeply concerned that the talks could collapse under the pressure of having to negotiate so much in such a short time. Earlier this week he said: "Currently we are a long way from where we need to be in these negotiations. Heads of state still have a unique opportunity in Rio to set the world on a path to sustainable development – but they need to step up their game dramatically. As things currently stand, we are facing two likely scenarios – an agreement so weak it is meaningless, or complete collapse."

Read the full article at The Guardian/UK

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